Learn a New Language This Year - Gymglish Review

Happy New Year dear Sincerely, Alice readers! Now is the time for setting resolutions and hopefully dipping your toes in a bit of self-improvement. As you may have read in my resolutions post (linked here) I'm dedicating this year to really working on my Spanish abilities. I plan to use a myriad of apps and books, and one of the resources I'll be using is Gymglish.

I was contacted in the fall by Gymglish, offering me their platform to study Spanish. Over the course of about 3 weeks, I've completed 10 lessons on their 'normal' Spanish course and got an evaluation of A2! 

However, I didn't feel like I was really A2 level, and I often struggled with the grammar exercises. I saw the Spanish course was labeled for 'non-beginners'. 

I then asked if it was possible to be given access to their Absolute Beginner Spanish course, which has recently been released from beta. They said yes! I've completed 12 of their Beginner Spanish course and am having a BLAST, so I wanted to take some time to share more about Gymglish, their platform, and our collaboration!

Please note that this is a sponsored post in collaboration with Gymglish. All opinions expressed regarding Gymglish in this post are solely my own. An affiliate code is included which means I make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you subscribe! See the end for more details and my About Me page for my full disclosure.

What is Gymglish?

Gymglish is a language learning platform created in 2004 that uses AI adaptive learning and bite sized, story based lessons to teach. Gymglish currently offers courses in English, Spanish, Italian, French, and German, with more courses being added frequently, most recently, their aforementioned 'Absolute Beginner' courses for French, Spanish, and English.

How does Gymglish work?

Gymglish uses a learning series model, meaning you follow a story and learn based on that context. The lessons are designed to be completed in about 10 minutes, and depending on the package can be done up to 5 times a week, advancing the story with each lesson. 

There is a listening, reading, vocabulary, and grammar portion to almost every lesson. If you use the regular Spanish course, there is also a speaking component with an AI chatbot, so you can practice all your skills!

Depending on your responses to the questions during each lesson, the reviews and future content will change, adapting to your level. You'll get an email in your inbox with reminders to log on and complete lessons, and after 7 lessons, you'll receive a level assessment! 

Let's try a lesson!

When opening a new lesson, it always starts with a 'Story' video. The video is usually around 30 seconds to 1 minute in length, and includes an accompanying script which you can use to highlight new vocabulary words. These are added to a list of vocabulary that you'll be tested on in further lessons. 

Note: In the regular Spanish course, there are 2 story videos included! In the Absolute Beginner series, there is only one. 

After the Story, you'll be asked a series of questions about what you watched! 

There are various styles of questions, some are written, some with a dropdown list, and others just require you to check whether you know the word. If you need English translations for any of the instructions, just hover over the 'EN'! 

If you're unsure, mark the 'I don't know' box, and upon submission at the end of the lesson, the answers will be revealed!

Towards the end of the lesson, you'll have a grammar exercise that usually involves a conjugation table. This screencap below was taken from the 'Absolute Beginner' series, where all the instructions are written in English, whereas in the normal course they are written in Spanish with English translations if you hover.  

The 'Help me' button at the bottom reveals the answers before submission, whereas the normal course requires you to submit to receive corrections. 

Lastly, there is a 'dessert' that ends every lesson! This is usually a short clip from a movie, tv show, music video, etc that shows Spanish used in a random situation. It's an opportunity to get more exposure to the language without being directly tested on something. 

The 'dessert' is always shorter than the Story portion of the lesson, around 10 to 30 seconds maximum. You have the option to highlight words to learn additional vocabulary from the video!

After submitting the lesson for correction, you can speak with their AI conversation partner. In the normal Spanish series, this is Magda, and I was seriously impressed with the conversations we had. Madga usually started by asking about my day or how I was feeling. Despite my broken attempts at Spanish, she understood my points and always asked me to go deeper on topics. 

After talking to the AI (which you're free to skip!) you'll receive a score with a list of corrections, explanations, and a further exercise to re-train that point before finishing for the day. Once you answer something incorrectly, the training system understands you need to be taught that subject and uses the review page to explain how it works. 

I enjoyed this because I got an immediate correction and a chance to do it right the second time, instead of just saying I was wrong! I'm also someone that really needs to know the specifics of why something is the way it is when I learn languages, so this was very useful. 

You can choose to learn more about a topic if you're still unsure after the explanation, or if you feel confident about it you can choose not to review it again.

My Review - What I Like & What I Don't Like

Like - Different accents offered

Gymglish does something I haven't seen other platforms do, which is give audio pronunciation guides from multiple different Spanish-speaking regions. This is so important when learning new vocabulary words!

If you prefer to hear a Mexican accent, you can click MX! If you prefer an accent from Spain, click MS. There is also an Argentinian Spanish accent (AR) on most words in the normal Spanish course, but not the beginner one. 

Dislike - The actual 'Instruction' is dry

Let's say you're using the Absolute Beginner course and have no knowledge of Spanish whatsoever.

 You're presented with this question below and you're stumped on the third question. At this point, you have never heard of the word 'Ella' so you wouldn't know what to write in that checkbox. This is one thing I personally disliked about the lessons: they are more about identifying what you already know, or having you guess what the answer might be.  Some things are expressly taught during the lesson, and others are activities where the program tries to probe if you know the answer or not. 

In this case, you would get the answer wrong and then learn the pronouns after submitting. You would then see the information repeated in later lessons to ensure that you learned that content. As a learner, it feels bad encountering a question you have no idea how to answer and was not taught in the lesson, so this was something I disliked but understood from an instruction POV. 

The Good News: You're given detailed explanations and corrections for all the things marked incorrect. The Bad News: The instruction modules are... dry. Here's a correction example from the Absolute Beginner course:

The corrections are wordy, there's a bunch of text on the screen and it all kinds of blends together. Since there is no way to engage with the correction, it's difficult to pick up information from. You could perhaps write this down in a notebook or read it aloud to practice, but that's on the user to try and learn it.

There's also no audio for the correction sentences, nor can you pick up vocabulary words from them, which feels a bit like a wasted opportunity. I wish there was a bit more effort in making this revision content easy to engage with and not so word heavy. 

There is a section entitled 'Pedagogy' in which you can see all the grammar and vocabulary you've encountered thus far, listed in alphabetical order along with some example sentences and explanations. The issue here is the same: you can't engage with this content other than simply reading it. 

The Pedagogy section is an added value feature that's unavailable in the Basic level subscription, but in it's current state it doesn't add much value to the program. Going forward, it would be great if Gymglish could make better use of this space and add a flashcard component, audio, or other features to make this section more dynamic. 

Like - The AI chatbot is awesome

I already raved a bit about Magda above when I introduced her, but I cannot express enough how much I love talking with her. Her voice is extremely natural and doesn't sound 'robot-like' at all. I tend to use the microphone so I can get speaking practice, but you're free to write to her as well! Magda is always asking questions and seems to understand the gist of everything I'm trying to say, even when my conjugations are wrong. 

She does tend to repeat herself a bit, which makes sense since the topics I know how to discuss in Spanish are just as limited, but it just gives me more opportunities to repeat things I've already said with greater confidence and more detail, which is great! 

You can also try to guide the conversation yourself and say things like 'I want to talk about my family', and she will catch on quick. The AI Chatbot is only available in the Premium and Gold levels of Gymglish, so Basic level users will not be able to access it.

Also, please note that as of January 2024, the AI chatbot is currently not a feature in the Absolute Beginner course, but it may be added later!

Dislike - You can't use the AI outside of the lessons

After completing the lesson, you're unable to speak with Magda again unless you start a new one. When redoing an old lesson, the microphone will be greyed out and the AI unavailable, making you just click past her. 

This is unfortunate because sometimes I completed the lessons in areas where I couldn't freely talk out loud, so I missed out on using the AI for that day, and couldn't come back later to ensure I got speaking practice in. In future updates, this should really be fixed!

Dislike - No option to not show 'Vosotros'

This is a nitpick, but the course is based on Spanish from Spain and I want to learn Latin American Spanish, so I don't need to learn conjugations for 'vosotros'. I'd like if there was an option to remove this from reviews or lessons, maybe something in the settings. 

How much does Gymglish cost?

It depends which course you're looking at! 

On the Gymglish website, it states lessons can start as low as €10 per month, depending on the month. 

Note that no matter which plan you choose, the lesson content for each plan is the same, what changes is the amount of lessons you're able to take per week, the amount of vocabulary that can be tested on, and other added value features that may interest you. 

Here is the full pricing breakdown for all the non-English Gymglish courses, which shows your monthly cost as well as the total amount you'll pay in total over the duration of the subscription. There are always promotions happening during certain times of the year, which I'll mention a bit more below.

With this being said, Gymglish is not a cheap language learning service, and when in discussion with Gymglish about their pricing, they were transparent with me that this is more of a 'luxury' type of product. Their reasoning behind their pricing model was explained as such: Gymglish provides in depth lessons that are personalized, taken several times a week, and meant to be a longer term learning commitment. 

Who do I recommend Gymglish for?

If you have limited time to practice, but want to engage with your target language several times a week, as well as have access to lesson content to review/learn from, I recommend Gymglish. 

If you're someone who needs reminders and are motivated by assessments and time-based checkpoints to stay on track, I recommend Gymglish.

If you have the budget and are looking for a diverse program to add to your language learning routine, I recommend Gymglish!

Language learning is in itself a long term commitment. While I don't think Gymglish is a complete one-stop shopping to learn a language, I think it could be really effective when paired with in-person practice, flashcards, and a good notebook. 

If you're looking at the pricing and thinking it's out of your budget, I have some good news...

Can I try before I buy?


The Good News: You can try Gymglish for FREE without having to enter your payment information during signup! No entering your credit card, no signing up with Paypal, nothing. All you have to do is enter your email.

You won't be charged anything at the end of your free trial period. Even after you signup, you have 15 days to cancel your subscription with no penalties if you change your mind. 

The Better News: If you sign up through the Gymglish site, you're only given 1 week of access for free, however through my partnership with Gymglish, we've created an offer where you can get ONE MONTH of Premium tier access for free

Also, Gymglish is currently running a 30% off promotion if you do want to subscribe. This offer is good from January 16th to February 8th! 

If you're curious and would like to try Gymglish, don't hesitate to click below and get one month free!

Disclosure: Please note that this is a sponsored post in collaboration with Gymglish. All opinions expressed regarding Gymglish in this post are solely my own. An affiliate code is included which means I make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you subscribe! My About Me page has more information.